Teen Sentenced After Explosion That Caused Injury

Teen Sentenced After Explosion That Caused Injury

(RepublicanView.org) – A teenager has learned his fate after causing an explosion at a bonfire that injured dozens of people.

Sam Armstrong, an 18-year-old from Maple Grove, MN, will serve a one-year sentence in jail with five years of probation to follow. He could get out of jail six months early on good behavior. Armstrong could be seen crying as the sentence was read. His attorney had to summarize his closing remarks. In them, he apologized for injuring his friends while saying that he felt shame over the incident.

The sentence was handed down roughly a year and a half after the incident occurred. Armstrong entered a “no contest” plea in court on February 5th. The plea is often used by defendants who will accept the sentence of a guilty plea without actually admitting guilt. He faced over a dozen counts of causing injury by negligent use of an explosive.

The incident occurred on October 14, 2022, while Armstrong joined several friends in attending a bonfire gathering with about 60 other teenagers. During the event, Armstrong picked up a barrel that had previously been mixed with diesel and gasoline and threw it on the fire. The resulting explosion injured 17 attendees. It took attendees several minutes to extinguish the flames, after which several attacked Armstrong. Another friend was previously helping Armstrong move the barrel, but dropped his end before reaching the fire.

Armstrong told police that he was unaware of the fallout that would follow his mishandling of the barrel. He also admitted that he had been drinking despite only being 17 at the time. He also told police that he initially pleaded with the homeowner to throw the barrel before doing it himself. He’s facing a number of lawsuits filed by victims and their families. His lawyers argued that Armstrong fully cooperated with investigators and deserved leniency for it.

The judge told Armstrong it would take years for the community to trust him again. She also said that she hopes he will use his probationary period to earn their trust back.

Copyright 2024, RepublicanView.org